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    • michael89156

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      Jason Licht's "Moneyball" By J Kato on Jun 12 2014, 2:50pmlitch_zps99d0eed0.pngJason Licht has shown that he has a savvy and shrewd business mind in his first few months as GM of the Buccaneers. He was not going to pay the inflated non-guaranteed salaries of some of the players he inherited. Darrelle Revis, no way. Donald Penn, not worth it. Davin Joseph, why bother. Mike Williams, "burned" that bridge. Jeremy Zuttah, don't want to play guard - get out. Dakota Watson, go get your money elsewhere. Instead he chose to use that money to fill those positions with better fits or younger "value" guys like Alterraun Verner, Anthony Collins, Evan Dietrich-Smith, and Mike Evans. Additional spending was used to reinforce Lovie's all-important defensive line by signing Michael Johnson and Clinton McDonald. Along with other notable draft picks and free agents rounding out the roster restructure, Mr. Licht has turned positions of weakness in the past to possible strengths such as CB, TE, and WR. His blueprint for the Buccaneers, utilizing what we now know about his use of analytics and what he deems as "value", could field a very competitive football team for years to come. This could be his version of the NFL's moneyball, and could set a tone of perpetual improvement for this franchise by positioning itself to deal with roster turnover and being proactive about personnel moves.Looking to the immediate future, we know Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David will get paid handsomely to don the Pewter and Red for years to come at their respected key positions on this football team. There are a couple of other guys that might not merit a hefty new contract. Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers are at the forefront of the next wave who could be asked to move on. Bowers will likely not see his second contract payday with the Bucs even if he steps his game up. Clayborn, on the other hand, could prove that he is best suited as a LDE which should be less expensive than a RDE's contract. Worse case scenario, we don't re-sign either. Lovie has been talking an awful lot about "prototype" players and some guys already on the roster fit that mold. We have built some depth and have the staff to develop D-line talent, so bringing someone like William Gholston up and drafting the next guy wouldn't be a bad idea. Chaz Sutton is an interesting developmental guy too, but we'll see how training camp plays out. Oh, did I mention these would be cheap options. This is a theme that I've recognized with these moves and how contracts are timed to our advantage. Carl Nicks, Dashon Goldson, and Vincent Jackson would be the next group of questionable keepers. Most of their contracts will not be guaranteed next year and it will definitely be a "prove it" year for a couple of them if not all three. VJax will most likely stay for another year and if they all ball out it's good for us. Worse case we don't keep any of them, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.Well, our guard situation is already pretty scary, but we drafted Kadeem Edwards (or IHOP, as some call him because he's always serving up pancakes) and the staff feels confident that he can develop. There have also been some really good safety classes in the past couple of drafts and with the priority for solid DB's shooting through the roof, you can rest assured we could find a young replacement next year, plus Tandy's coming along unexpectedly well and has shown great range and ball skills. As for VJax's replacement, he's already on the roster, and a fill for the #2 could be also depending on how Louis Murphy shapes up. Of course, with those cap numbers potentially gone, next year's free agency could be pretty interesting as well. So, again we have less expensive, young, and "value" options available. Mason Foster is another key player that is coming up on UFA. He definitely has alot to prove this year, but is still a viable option to move to SLB on the cheap. Linebackers are fairly inexpensive nowadays as is, but quality MLB's are relatively hard to find. This could be a priority move in next year's draft to find Lovie's "QB" of the defense if he's not retained. Who knows, though, Dane Fletcher could be a wildcard as the next guy up to man the middle and Nate Askew already had that "prototype" tag placed on him. All inexpensive options moving forward. A quick recap would show that we'd be in pretty good shape next year using free agency and the draft to fill key spots like MLB, S, DE, OG, and WR if needed. If we happened to lose all the above listed guys, we could fairly easily find "value" replacements and young up-and-comers on the cheap while continuing to add quality depth. We could also get some compensatory picks in future drafts. I feel much of the foundation to build upon has been laid and that youth and cap space will be on our side moving forward. Now, I intentionally left this for last. Feel how you may about Josh McCown and Mike Glennon, but what the coaching staff and front office has done was quite brilliant with the options available to them. They brought in McCown, who Lovie is comfortable with and fits what Jeff Tedford is looking to do, to properly mentor Mike Glennon and give him time to fully develop. Also, McCown can lead this new offense and get it clicking more quickly than a second year guy could. They did not overpay or reach for a QB in free agency or the draft. They very well may have wanted to draft another QB, but felt the value just wasn't there in a trade up perhaps. Instead, they surrounded their signal caller with some very dangerous weapons and a potential juggernaut defense. McCown is on short-term and very cheap contract, so if he fails, we'll see what Glennon is really capable of. If things play out fairly well, we would not have to reach or pay a ridiculous amount of money for a QB in the near future leaving extra cap space for other players like Mark Barron and Doug Martin. The Bucs would have this year to evaluate the QB position and future draft prospects. They could have potentially up to two years to stockpile draft ammunition or sit pat to pull the trigger on a great QB prospect. If McCown plays well through this contract term, then that puts Glennon in a situation where his contract will be close to expiring when he hits the field again. Even if he does play well on his last contract year, he would not command a $100 million salary unless he happens to win the Superbowl, which is highly unlikely. And if he does demand a ridiculously high contract, we will already have his replacement on the roster or be positioned to pay with some of the less expensive players already in place and the ballooning salary cap. This type of forward thinking strategy is how teams are built to contend year in and year out. Establish a competitive brand and have a good plan to build through the draft, develop young talent, not be short-sighted or pigeon holed, and have options available for those uncomfortable contract situations. They don't get caught up with failed draft picks, but are prepared to move on when it is necessary. Supplementing the roster with free agents, but not over paying them. And by all means, look to upgrade your QB if you don't have a franchise guy on the roster already. It doesn't take a high draft position, but when you don't have many holes to fill, picks can be used to move up with very little sacrifice.link

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    • Anonymous

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      This is a good article. For a change, the author seems to know what he’s talking about. 100% agree.

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    • Anonymous

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      This is a good article. For a change, the author seems to know what he's talking about. 100% agree.

      Big change from the crap Micheabot puts up here....

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    • Anonymous

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      This is a good article. For a change, the author seems to know what he's talking about. 100% agree.

      Louis Murphy as a possible #2? Possibly moving on from Foster but freeing up cap space for Barron? Decent article  but slightly off base.

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    • Anonymous

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      This is a good article. For a change, the author seems to know what he's talking about. 100% agree.

      Louis Murphy as a possible #2? Possibly moving on from Foster but freeing up cap space for Barron? Decent article  but slightly off base.

      At the end of Lovie's presser yesterday, he commented on the Mike position... and didn't sound all that happy.

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    • Anonymous

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      Nicks, Koenen, Goldson and eventually VJax will all have to go to free up cap money for future value FA’s. Those 4 players represent around $28 million off the books. Add that to this years $13 million; that’s $41 million to go shopping with over the next two years and that doesn’t take into account any increase in cap space. The Bucs also have all of their picks going forward, so strategically, they are in a GREAT position. Great coaches, schemes, players, fans and in good financial shape. As Al Davis said…..’Just win Baby’

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    • Anonymous

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      This is a good article. For a change, the author seems to know what he's talking about. 100% agree.

      Louis Murphy as a possible #2? Possibly moving on from Foster but freeing up cap space for Barron? Decent article  but slightly off base.

      At the end of Lovie's presser yesterday, he commented on the Mike position... and didn't sound all that happy.

      can you expand?

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    • Anonymous

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      Meh I didn’t really read anything conclusive about analytics or Moneyball. All teams have players and positions they value and others they don’t and all teams try to exploit market inefficiencies. The Bucs got Verner on the cheap because much of the league doesn’t value zone corners but they paid a premium for Michael Johnson because everyone values pass rush and if you don’t have pass rush, frequently you have to make questionable deals like this.

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    • Anonymous

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      Neither did I. It’s also important to realize that the “moneyball” thing works with baseball because they play 165 games and there is plenty of time for everything to settle at the players true talent.  IMO 16 games is not enough to realize the value of what a moneyball scheme does. Guys who play very well or very badly can alter the course of the season far to easily.

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    • Anonymous

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      I haven’t been on the boards much lately.  How did he change CB into a position of strength?

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    • Anonymous

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      I haven't been on the boards much lately.  How did he change CB into a position of strength?

      I would say its roughly as strong as it was last year with our #1 being slight less talented, but our #3 being more talented, but having spent less cap on that position and added depth.

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    • Anonymous

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      I haven't been on the boards much lately.  How did he change CB into a position of strength?

      I would say its roughly as strong as it was last year with our #1 being slight less talented, but our #3 being more talented, but having spent less cap on that position and added depth.

      You believe Verner is "slightly" less talented than Revis and we have a better #3? Really, it's likely going to be the same guy it would have been last year if not for injury, Gorrer. Banks is the #2, still. I'm not complaining about our CB situation as a little less talent with a better scheme that asks less from them may be a better overall situation but it's hardly a position of strength, maybe it's deeper than it was but not stronger.

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    • Anonymous

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      This is a good article. For a change, the author seems to know what he's talking about. 100% agree.

      Louis Murphy as a possible #2? Possibly moving on from Foster but freeing up cap space for Barron? Decent article  but slightly off base.

      Louis Murphy was brought in to be a nice depth piece for our team, and he will be.  He is not a number 2 receiver for any competitive team in the league.

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    • Anonymous

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      I haven't been on the boards much lately.  How did he change CB into a position of strength?

      I would say its roughly as strong as it was last year with our #1 being slight less talented, but our #3 being more talented, but having spent less cap on that position and added depth.

      You believe Verner is "slightly" less talented than Revis and we have a better #3? Really, it's likely going to be the same guy it would have been last year if not for injury, Gorrer. Banks is the #2, still. I'm not complaining about our CB situation as a little less talent with a better scheme that asks less from them may be a better overall situation but it's hardly a position of strength, maybe it's deeper than it was but not stronger.

      The difference is Lovie knows how to coach. Did you notice the difference between Chicago's defense in 2013 compared to 2012?

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    • Anonymous

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      You believe Verner is "slightly" less talented than Revis and we have a better #3? Really, it's likely going to be the same guy it would have been last year if not for injury, Gorrer. Banks is the #2, still. I'm not complaining about our CB situation as a little less talent with a better scheme that asks less from them may be a better overall situation but it's hardly a position of strength, maybe it's deeper than it was but not stronger.

      it could easily go up. Jenkins and moore have both had quality nfl seasons. 2nd year cbs are frequently more improved than rookie cbs. Verner played just about as well as revis last season.  Gorrer was looking solid before his injury last season, right?Its kinda pointless though. Scheme, pass rush, health are such powerful factors that there will always be excuses either way.

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    • Anonymous

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          Add to that Banks should be a better CB in his 2nd year. PLUS he’ll be in a zone scheme, which I think might better suit his skillset.

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    • Anonymous

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          Add to that Banks should be a better CB in his 2nd year. PLUS he'll be in a zone scheme, which I think might better suit his skillset.

      Bingo.He was ok/good for a rookie anyway. Now, he'll have some experience, be asked to do a little less, and will be coached much better than he was.As much as it makes me ill to say this, I think the weakness is our fs and ss positions.

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    • Anonymous

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          Add to that Banks should be a better CB in his 2nd year. PLUS he'll be in a zone scheme, which I think might better suit his skillset.

      Bingo.He was ok/good for a rookie anyway. Now, he'll have some experience, be asked to do a little less, and will be coached much better than he was.As much as it makes me ill to say this, I think the weakness is our fs and ss positions.

      I agree. I do think our secondary will be better though. Including Barron and Goldson.

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    • Anonymous

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          Add to that Banks should be a better CB in his 2nd year. PLUS he'll be in a zone scheme, which I think might better suit his skillset.

      Bingo.He was ok/good for a rookie anyway. Now, he'll have some experience, be asked to do a little less, and will be coached much better than he was.As much as it makes me ill to say this, I think the weakness is our fs and ss positions.

      I agree. I do think our secondary will be better though. Including Barron and Goldson.

      Agree.  Even Tandy and Wright have shown promise.

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